“The incentive is creativity,” Jessica Koslow says about why she partnered with cereal giant Kellogg’s for a three-night (Sept. 21-23) breakfast-for-dinner pop-up at her popular daytime restaurant Sqirl. “That chefs can explore their arsenal of tricks and techniques and utilize those skills to define dishes we never imagined.”
In this case, creativity means cereal-inspired items such as Froot Loop French Toast with crème fraîche and plum jam, a Special K Tonkatsu Breakfast Bowl made of Special K–crusted pork cutlets over brown rice, or a crunchy papaya and carrot salad with house-made jerky, fermented tomatillo, tomatoes, shredded Frosted Mini Wheats and a fried egg.
It’s obvious why a large corporation like Kellogg's would want to partner with the most celebrated breakfast chef in the country. There is enormous cachet to be gained from Koslow's name for big brands like Kellogg's. And as cold cereal sales continue to plummet, companies like Kellogg's are looking for ways to inspire consumers to use cereal all throughout the day.
It is less obvious why Koslow, who focuses on local ingredients and homemade cooking with seasonal, fresh farm-to-table produce, would want to cook with boxed cereal. With restaurants being so expensive to run, perhaps corporate partnerships are a way for chefs to raise money — Koslow expects to get the permit to build her new Westside restaurant next week. In this case, however, it is for charity.
“Not only does Kellogg’s provide Sqirl with the platform for exploring the versatility of cereal beyond the bowl, they also provide us with a larger reach to do good. So Sqirl can do a dinner event like this and send all proceeds to charity. In this instance, Direct Relief,” Koslow explains. Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization that, among other things, is currently working on the emergency response to the Mexico earthquake and relief efforts for hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Charitable fundraising aside, Koslow is clearly passionate about cereal. Rice Krispies, she says, is her favorite kind. “I used to make Rice Krispies Treats with my dad growing up, and it’s my fondest memory with him and the one I’ll pass down in my own family.”
720 N. Virgil Ave., #4, East Hollywood; (323) 284-8147, sqirlla.com.